Who Is Aunt Pearl? (and Why Does She Have a Sneaker Every Year?)


In his MVP acceptance speech in May 2014, Kevin Durant famously praised his mom Wanda Pratt, calling her “The Real MVP.” But each MVP wants the assistance of a supporting solid to prosper, and Durant’s Aunt Pearl performed a key function in making him the person he is change into.

With Pratt working lengthy hours on the publish workplace, the job of keeping track of Kevin after college was typically left to his grandmother Barbara and her sister Pearl, who lived with one another on the time. Each day, Aunt Pearl would repair Durant’s favourite snack, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and watch afternoon cartoons with him. The two shaped an eternal bond and the significance of household was instilled at a younger age.

As Durant developed as a basketball participant, he excitedly shared information of his accomplishments with Aunt Pearl. However, he ultimately observed that she didn’t attend lots of his video games. This was as a result of she was battling lung most cancers, which prevented her from doing a lot touring. While Pearl cheered Kevin on from house, he continued to hone his craft. As a sixth grader, he’d take a bus to his grandmother’s home, then run 15 to twenty minutes to the native rec heart to play.

Then there was the day in 2000 that modified Durant’s life endlessly. One evening whereas hanging out at his grandmother’s home, he watched his beloved aunt stay the ultimate moments of her life. Kevin laid subsequent to Pearl because the paramedics ready to take her to the coroner. She had succumbed to issues from most cancers.

The second would have been an excessive amount of for a lot of youngsters to deal with, however Durant endured, impressed by Aunt Pearl’s courageous battle towards the illness. 19 years later, he’s among the finest basketball gamers on this planet, and nonetheless makes positive his aunt’s reminiscence lives on.

In 2012, Durant and Nike launched a pink-based colorway of the KD 4 with a pearl printed collar, tongue and cross-strap. In affiliation with the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, the shoe was a tribute to Aunt Pearl, and is now an annual custom.

“I made a promise to myself to always honor my Aunt Pearl for the example she set, and the encouragement she gave me to follow my dreams,” Durant advised Nike.

The “Aunt Pearl” shoes have change into a few of probably the most collectible in Durant’s signature line and fetch huge {dollars} on the second-hand market, however it’s necessary to remember why they exist within the first place. Even together with her life in peril, Aunt Pearl pushed ahead and impressed Kevin to be the most effective that he may be. Now, as promised, her reminiscence lives on.

Scroll down for a take a look at the total historical past of the road.

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